GMC suspends doctor who failed to spot Baby P’s injuries

The General Medical Council has suspended the paediatrician who failed to spot serious injuries to Baby P, including a broken spine, during an examination just two days before he died.


Dr Sabah Al-Zayyat was a locum paediatrician at St Ann’s Hospital in Haringey when she was presented with Baby P on 1 August 2007. Although she found bruises to his body she did not carry out a fuller examination as he seemed “miserable and cranky”. Her judgement was that Baby P had a possible viral infection and partly healing scalp infection.


A post-mortem report discovered that Baby P had in fact been inflicted with a number of serious injuries, including fractures to his ribs and spine. These are believed to predate Al-Zayyat’s examination of Baby P.


Serious case review


A serious case review carried out by Haringey safeguarding children board stated that Al-Zayyat should have made a diagnosis of abuse.


The GMC, which is investigating her conduct, decided to put her under supervision at a hearing on 11 August this year. However, following the conviction of Baby P’s mother, her boyfriend and her lodger at the Old Bailey earlier this month, a further GMC hearing has now ruled that Al-Zayyat should receive a full suspension.


The suspension will be reviewed within the next three months.


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